by Susan Robison, Finance and Special Projects Manager, Roundhouse Foundation

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Geno’s Youth Center in Burns, Oregon, which will house Kids Club Harney County programs very soon.  Geno’s Youth Center is named after long-time Harney County resident, Geno Timms.  I visited with a group of friends who were working on the final touches of the center.

I grew up in Harney County along with Trina Timms Denson, Geno Timm’s daughter.  Geno’s parents owned and operated Alpine Creamery beginning in 1936.  Geno opened Columbia Distributing in the same location in 1965.  He then served as an Oregon Senator for 22 years and was an advocate for rural Oregon.  Trina and her family donated the land and building to the Kids Club to create a location for their programs.

The club part of the center is almost complete.  The commercial kitchen is amazing and the classroom furniture is really cool – when you sit on the seats, they are stable, but wobble for busy bodies. The gym part of the center has been complete for a few years and the community is busy using it for pickleball, tumbling and basketball.

Amy Dobson, Director of Kids Club of Harney County, brought the running club kids to tour Geno’s Youth Center while we were there.  She did a great job explaining the definition of a memorial – referring to Trina’s dad and the history of the creamery in the building.  It brought tears to our eyes to think of how proud he would be of the new center and all of the Harney County kids that will benefit.  When we were there Trina gifted each running club member with a new pair of Nike running shoes.  They were thrilled and it was fun to see them testing out their new shoes – running and jumping in Geno’s Gym.

Trina has done a great job honoring her dad’s memory and the legacy of the creamery.  There are creamery cans incorporated into the coffee tables and end tables.  She wallpapered an entire wall with butter wrappers from Alpine Creamery.  Vintage ice cream coolers will serve as planters in the entry, creamery conveyors are fireplace mantles and there is creamery and distributorship memorabilia throughout the welcoming center.

This place has come a very long way since Roundhouse Foundation Trustee, Kathy Deggendorfer, and I visited the site back in 2015!  What a journey, but a great asset for the communities of Harney County.  This Harney County kid is thankful for the Roundhouse Foundation’s important support!

Published On: May 6th, 2024 / Categories: Featured Grant Stories, Foundation Highlights, Grant News /